Oscar Pistorius, known to many as the “Blade Runner,” has failed to make the final in the men’s 400-meter race at the London Olympics.
Kirani James of Grenada came in first, while Pistorius came in last, according to The New York Times. But, when James looked back to see the South African double-amputee cross the line, he smiled and grabbed Pistorius for a hug. The two then exchanged their racing bibs, a show that James knew the significance of the Blade Runner’s participation in the race, becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympic track and field events.
For Oscar Pistorius, it didn’t matter that his time of 46.54 seconds was almost two seconds off the pace set by James and Chris Brown from the Bahamas. The South African runner stated after the race that:
“The whole experience is mind-blowing. My aim was to make the semifinal. It’s a dream come true.”
Pistorius and his carbon-fiber prosthetics are not done, as he will return to the track in London on Thursday to compete as part of South Africa’s 4X400 relay team. Bahamian sprinter Demetrius Pinder stated of Pistorius that:
“I’ve got to give him credit…because I think he’s under more pressure than the rest of us.”
According to The Bleacher Report, the 25-year-old had both legs amputated when he was 11 months old, because he was born without fibulas. Despite the loss of his legs, he never gave up. After working for years to accomplish his goal of making it to the able-bodied Olympics, showing the South African officials that he was worthy after finishing second in the African Championships.
Despite being able to convince South African officials, Pistorius still faced controversy from people who believe his prosthetic legs give him an unfair advantage. The IOC ultimately ruled in his favor, however, saying that the South African runner’s prosthetic blades do not give him a significant advantage.
The IOC’s ruling allowed Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner, to inspire millions at the summer Olympics in London. Even though he did not win he made history just by competing.
By Kastom (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons